Sunday, 28 September 2008

Good vibes...

For all sorts of reasons. The first is seeing the progress everyone (including me) is making at the Thursday night Cross sessions. Everyone's getting smoother and more confident and getting faster as a result. Lights are now essential accessories as the nights draw in, but at least it means winter isn't all bad. You know it makes sense... 6:15 for 6:30 at Hereford Leisure centre, email me if you're planning to attend - and don't expect mega-organised... more lassiez-faire with some suffering thrown in.

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

The next positive was the 2nd Elan lap of 2008. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to top our first lap, back in Feb... but it was. Doing the first 10 miles in the fog and freezing our butts off...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

...made it better if anything since rising up out of the fog into the clear blue skies won't be forgotten quickly. Not a breath of wind :)

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

Ben tried his hardest to make every hill seem longer and steeper...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

While Mark showed a bit of the big 'W' (that's W for Weakness) for not big ringing it round the whole loop as promised. Not even up the 25%er...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

Happy days.

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

The last good vibe came from marshalling at the Ludlow Tri. Having done a lot of races (certainly I've competed in more than I've assisted at) I reckon it's the ultimate in good karma to stand on a busy road junction for 5 hours on a freezing September morning. If I die tonight there's no way I'm coming back as a cockroach.

Stu did find it a little boring though :)

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

Sunday, 21 September 2008


You can be my...


From abergavenny cross nps weekend 21 sept 2008

I'm pretty sure this look will take off. In a last minute decision I went with Benny-Boy Dales Aviators over the M-Frames. Despite some mid-race worries that perhaps his garage-issue sunnies weren't shatterproof and that, in the event of a crash, I'd be picking shards of tinted glass out of my retina all was good. They didn't even get sweaty :)

The race itself was a bit emotional. This has been on the radar for sometime. The first round of the cross nationals just 20 miles from out house... and new bikes too?

From abergavenny cross nps weekend 21 sept 2008

Well it would have been rude not to!

P showed that she's got a bit of class and rode a blinder from last on the grid to finish second. Nice work.

From abergavenny cross nps weekend 21 sept 2008

I rode, well if not a blinder then perhaps a small-amount-of temporary-visual-impairment-er and rode from the back of the grid to 18th then back to 20th. After about 40 mins I found the lack of any drink (what's with that?? A crazy rule if you ask me) meant I was dreaming of a cold beverage rather than pouring on the pace. Happy though.

Gibbo was there to also represent CoB - he struggled through some serious snot in the Vets to post a monument to suffering and then hung around with the family Gibbo to help P and me. Many thanks to the Dales and the family Peche who also turned up to lend some much needed hands/support.

On another note - saw a lot of bling wheels. Will we be racing enough cross to justify these?? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

Also, what about this? A long way to go to get my ass kicked, but might be a good trip? Was inspired by this (scroll down to get to the meat of it). Anyone keen?

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

I want one of these...

why? I'm not sure, but the idea of a vest that tells everyone how fast you are (or aren't) going is highly attractive.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sunshine makes a big difference...

to everything :)

It's been a good weekend, we nipped over to Mansfield to stay with Bobs & Gill before P raced the SRAM sponsored Derby Cross. What a well organised and well supported series! Shame about P's gridding but it didn't really affect the result, just the time gap. 2nd to an international cross racer isn't bad :) More to come hopefully...

One thing wasn't great, the lack of hup-hup-hup. We even went with cowbells (Bobs&Gill swiss issue) but noise making was frowned upon :(

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
From Derby to Bala in record time to meet up with the Hereford Tri guys and prepare for the race the following day. Bobby, as usual, was ready for racing...

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
We woke to proper mist in the valley, and worries of a tri-to-duathlon disaster. I haven't been crapping myself about the open water swim for nothing.

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
Fortunately the Blitz spirit (or something) prevailed and the swim was on, which was lucky because a 25 min swim in the 9 degree Bala lake was just what my barnet needed to turn me from young-Homer Simpson...

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
Via an unfortunate swim hat issue...

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
To spikey haired down-with-the-kids Mokes.

From Derby Cross (P) and Bala Triathlon (L)
OK, so I have some receding issues... but nobody's perfect :)

And the result... well it was a good day, I even enjoyed the swim. 9th overall is, in my book, a proper result. Cheers to Bobs for all the tri-tips and to Micky the Fish, Dave, Ian, Andy, Fonz and John for the cameraderie.

Monday, 1 September 2008

A very British ride...

Britishness can be summed up in many ways:
  • Riding in the rain
  • Eating Apple crumble and custard
  • Watching a 12-hr road time trial (a typically British stiff upper-lip-in-the-face-of-pointless-suffering event... well done to John T, Chris H, Alex H and Rivers who lasted the distance)
  • Spending £1.34 per litre of diesel
Nice to do the quad and get all four into a day.

Good to ride with friends :)

It's all part of a circle... least it seems that way at the moment.

I recently remembered a blog post I stumbled on a couple of years ago and as a result ended up ordering this from America. I guess it could be viewed as somewhat of a niche purchase.

The link is, my good friend ELC has spent his summer in the States and, when I saw him today for the first time in 6 weeks, and before he's spoken a word, he hands me this.

My current favourite is, "Chuck Norris put the fist into pacifist". It's not clever or mature, but it is funny. Just what I need today.

September has begun and school has started again. It's raining, and I'm wearing shorts and sandals. Something is wrong here.